Sunday, September 13, 2020

Bow Bugs- EW!

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins,

and Ivana Truong

 If you open up your case and you see this- You Have BOW BUGS

"What??? Bugs are eating my bow?"

No! Just the bow hair. (Fans of Schitts Creek are now hearing Alexis say "EW!")

Monday, July 27, 2020

Tips & Tricks for Surviving the Online Lesson World

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins and Mikaela Marget

"A little too sharp... not quite... now it's too flat! Go the other way... Nope, too far..." Bam! Oops. Now you need a new string.  

If you're a student who has recently had to start taking online-lessons, you know this struggle: learning to tune. There can be a bit of a learning curve to this, but don't get discouraged--we are here to help! 

We've made some helpful videos to help you as students (or parents) learn how to tune, change a string, and reset a bridge without teacher help during the times of video lessons. This way, even though you can't see your teacher in-person, you can keep up with the daily maintenance of your instrument.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Who Invented the Violin? Sephardic Jews and the Early Days of the Violin

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins, and Mikaela Marget

Who made the first violin? 

With a cursory internet search, you may be convinced that the mastermind behind all modern violin making was Andrea Amati of Cremona; many give him credit for the oldest existent violin, a 1546 instrument that is now lost. The truth, though, is more complicated than that; first of all, we don’t even know if he was responsible for the very first modern violin. Even if he was, Amati didn’t just come up with a great idea out of nowhere! 

ex-Kurtz violin by Andrea Amati

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Stage Fright/ Performance Anxiety- Got Yours?

Great Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was a Proponent of Yoga

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins,
and Ivana Truong

"Relax. RELAX. JUST RELAX, YOU'LL PLAY SOOOO MUCH BETTER?" Ever had such sage advice thrown your way? Yes, most musicians have. And it doesn't help. But learning to relax and focus on your performance truly will help you play better. But how do you do it when every part of your being is telling you just the opposite?

Though perhaps to different extents, every musician understands the stomach-turning restlessness that precedes a performance, not to mention the heart-racing blur of the performance itself. For some musicians, the feeling becomes manageable with time, as confidence in their technique grows and the player gains more experience with public performances. For others, performance anxiety can become a serious issue preventing them from pursuing music more seriously. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Coffee and Composers

By Andy Fein, luthier at Fein Violins, and chief coffee taster at Stradivarius Coffee
and Ivana Truong

Wagner’s table at Caffe Lavena

Today, getting a cup of coffee from your local cafe can be a great way to get your daily dose of
caffeine while getting some work done or chatting with some of your neighbors. (At least, it has
been in the recent past and we hope will be again shortly!)

But in the past, cafes, or coffee houses served more as a meeting place for intellectual and political debate. Beginning in the 16th century Ottoman Empire and spreading to Europe through Venetian merchants by the early 17th century, coffee houses provided an accessible place for patrons to openly exchange their ideas. Coffee houses were actually key meeting places for the founders of the American and French Revolutions! [1]